The European Network on Independent Living – ENIL is launching its latest contribution to improved understanding of the right to live independently in the community, set out in Article 19 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). The report, entitled “Addressing Barriers to Independent Living across the Globe”, comes as the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD Committee) prepares to adopt a General Comment on Article 19 CRPD this August.
The report discusses the challenges related to the lack of understanding of Article 19. It addresses concerns related to the universal applicability of the independent living concept, demonstrating that Article 19 can work anywhere in the world, regardless of cultural differences. Other challenges to independent living and inclusion in community, discussed in the report, include negative attitudes and stigma towards disabled people, the lack of support to families, prevalence of institutional services, barriers in community support services and mainstream services, and barriers concerning other CRPD provisions, which impact on the implementation of Article 19.
The report addresses some of the more difficult questions, such as whether disabled people can choose to live in an institution, whether group homes are in line with Article 19, and how to start the process of deinstitutionalisation.
The recommendations, outlined in the report, were shared with the CRPD Committee in March, to assist with the drafting of the General Comment. They can be used by the Governments and civil society organisations, alongside the General Comment on Article 19, to identify actions needed to implement Article 19 CRPD.
ENIL will present the report at a roundtable in Brussels at the end of August, to coincide with the 18th Session of the CRPD Committee in Geneva. If you are interested in attending, please e-mail Lilia Angelova Mladenova at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The drafting and publication of the report were made possible thanks to generous support by the Open Society Foundations – Mental Health Initiative.
Download the report HERE.